General Information

Full Name Tyler Barna
Date of Birth March 1st, 1999


  • 2027 (expected)
    Ph.D. in Astrophysics
    University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
    • Advised by Assistant Professor Michael Coughlin
    • Member of the Data Science in Multi Messenger Astronomy Program
      • Awards a minor in Data Science in Astrophysics
  • 2021
    Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics
    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick
    • Member of the Rutgers Honors College
    • Graduated Cum Laude
    • Received High Honors on Senior Thesis

Research Experience

  • 2021-Present
    Graduate Research Assistant
    Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
    • Advised by Assistant Professor Michael Coughlin
    • Working with large collaboration (NMMA) to study kilonovae via gravitational wave detection and electromagnetic observation.
    • Leading development on a pipeline to automate follow-up observations of potential gravitational wave companions with the Zwicky Transient Facility.
      • A first-authored paper on this work is currently in preparation
    • Presenting this work, I won the UMN Departmental 3 Minute Thesis Competition in 2022
  • 2020-2021
    Undergraduate Research Assistant
    Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers University
    • Advised by Professor Saurabh Jha
    • Research conducted as part of a Senior Honors Thesis
    • Conducted independent research on SNe Ia observed by the Transiting Exo-planet Survey Satellite (TESS) at early rise times
    • Outside of the scope of the thesis, I also engaged in monthly remote observation shifts on the Keck II Telescope
  • 2018-2020
    Undergraduate Researcher
    Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University
    • Advised by Dr. Melinda Soares-Furtado
      • Dr. Soares-Furtado is now a NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • Worked both locally and remotely on several research projects, including hydrodynamic simulations of globular clusters and analysis of data from the Kepler Space Telescope K2 Mission
    • My work later led to a paper in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series as well as a Poster Presentation at NASA's Kepler K2 Scicon V in 2019
  • 2016
    Governor's School Scholar
    New Jersey Governor's School of the Sciences, Drew University
    • Advised by Dr. David Cincotta
    • Studied Controlled Release Kinetics and the Hansen Solubility Parameters
    • Helped to automate the collection of data and designed an experimental procedure that greatly increased the number of trials that could be run within the given time constraints
    • Presented research at the 2016 New Jersey Governor's School of the Sciences Symposium


See the Publications page for a full list of publications.


  • 2022
    ZTF Summer School
    Minneapolis, MN
    • Coordination Assistant for NMMA Topics
  • 2019
    NASA Kepler and K2 SciCon V
    Glendale, California
    • Poster Presentation- "Searching for Exoplanets in Dense Clusters with Image Subtraction"

Honors and Awards

  • 2022
    Winner of UMN Departmental 3 Minute Thesis Competition
  • 2022-2023
    Awarded Data Science in Multi Messenger Astronomy Research Fellowship
  • 2022
    Awarded Ney Fellowship
  • 2017-2021
    Awarded Rutgers University Trustee Scholarship
  • 2017
    Awarded Hoffman DiMuzio Community Scholarship
  • 2017
    Awarded Brett Fenster Memorial Scholarship

Technical Skills

Languages Python, Latex, Javascript, HTML
Applications Visual Studio Code, Emacs, Anaconda, Mathematica, Git, VirtualBox, Slurm, WinSCP, PuTTY, Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office Suite
Operating Systems Linux, Windows, Windows Subsystem for Linux, Android

Work Experience

  • 2015-2021
    USSF Certified Soccer Referee
    South Jersey Soccer League & South Jersey Girls Soccer League
    • Worked with other referees to make quick decisions in games ranging from adolescent to collegiate levels
  • 2016-2019
    Red Cross Certified Lifeguard
    Del Val Pool Maintenance
    • Managed community pools both alone and with other lifeguards to ensure safety of patrons
    • Measured and recorded chemical levels on an hourly basis, making adjustments to satisfy safety standards


  • 2022-Present
    MIfA Public Observing Nights
  • 2022-Present
    Astronomy on Tap - Twin Cities
  • 2022-Present
    Coughlin Group Elementary School Outreach
  • 2021-2022
    MIfA Universe@Home Program
  • 2017-2021
    Rutgers Astronomical Society
  • 2017-2018
    Rutgers Honors College Mentoring Program

Other Interests

  • Hobbies: Computers & Technology, Cooking, Guitar, Lutherie, Music, History, Literature